Part of the wonder of ropes courses is that they can be built in so many different ways and styles.
As the ropes course industry matures, courses become increasingly complex and diverse.
This requires the ropes course designer to have a broad base of knowledge and ability to draw on many different standards and guidelines, as well as any relevant legislation.
Adventure Developments is highly specialised and experienced in the design, installation and operation of ropes courses. We also have a good understanding of our limit of our knowledge and routinely consult with other professionals, such as engineers, arborists, and equipment manufacturers.
Mainly due to the moderate size of the industry within Australia, there is currently no Australian standard relating specifically to the design, installation and inspection of ropes courses. In the absence of such standards Adventure Developments uses EN 15567 Parts 1 and 2 (European Standard for ropes courses) and ACCT (Association for Challenge Course Technology) standards as the benchmarks.
If an Australian standard exists which exceeds, or is more relevant for, a specific application than the requirements of the ACCT and EN15567, then the Australian standard is adopted.
The strength of elements and the capacity for structures to support the required loads can be evaluated through Australian standard structural engineering codes.
There are two parts to the European Ropes Courses Standard, EN 15567-1 Safety Requirements and Test Methods and EN 15567-2 Operational Requirements. The standard has undergone a lengthy review process and is now current in Europe. The standard will be up for review in 2012.
Adventure Developments recognises that EN15567, although not legally required, is extremely important to Australian ropes course operators as it will be used as a reference for all future legislation. Adventure Developments uses EN 15567 as the benchmark for all our constructions.
Standards Australia is recognised by the government as Australia’s peak standards body. Adventure Developments draws heavily on guidelines set by Standards Australia for clear advice on topics such as work
at height, cable termination methods, steelwork, welding, timber designs.
Association for Challenge Course Technology. (ACCT)
ACCT is a trade organization, serving Challenge Course Professionals all over the world. The purpose of the association is to promote the use of Challenge Courses and to set minimum standards for Challenge Course installation, operation and inspection. Originally founded by vendors, ACCT members are now predominantly Challenge Course managers and facilitators. ACCT has been setting challenge course standards since 1993.
Adventure Developments is a member of ACCT and meets or exceeds their construction and inspection standards.
European Ropes Course Association. (ERCA)
ERCA is an international association with several hundred members. ERCA’s Standards comprise guidelines for the installation, inspection and operation of ropes courses. Guidelines for the professional development and qualification of ropes course trainers are also an important part of the standard and these include a professional code of conduct. Inspectors, assessors and government institutions regard ERCA’s Professional Standards as authoritative in terms of best practice and issues relating to health and safety.
ERCA has been developing Professional Standards for ropes courses since 1998 and has been a major contributor to the European Ropes Course Standard EN 15567.
Other Ropes Course Associations include the Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA) in the USA and the International Adventure Parcs Association (IAPA) based in Germany